Financial literacy as a school subject to increase students’ knowledge about money will be introduced nationwide through the first phase of the Cambodian School Curriculum Project, with the Ministry of Education collaborating with the National Bank of Cambodia, Asian Development Bank, Good Return and the World Education Cambodia.
NBC director general Chea Serey said yesterday that the first step in the project would be developing a national curriculum for schools to teach the subject and added that the central bank and the ministry, together with all stakeholders would work together to develop it.
“Young people today face more challenging financial choices given the rapid socio-economic transformation that the country is undergoing. They need the skills, training and tools to make the right decisions affecting their financial well-being, and also that of their families,” Serey told a technical workshop on education organised by the ministry.
Serey said that the inclusion of financial literacy as a school subject was in the government’s Financial Development Strategy 2016-2025. “The NBC and the Ministry of Education have established a Financial Literacy Working Group, with the support from Good Return, World Education Cambodia and the Asian Development Bank to review the existing formal education curriculum for students in public schools and identify specific areas where financial education could be included,” she added.
“Financial literacy performance is strongly correlated with performance in mathematics and reading. Students should be helped to make the most of what they learn in subjects taught in compulsory education, which could also be complemented with more specific financial literacy content.”
Mok Sarom, deputy director general of the directorate general of education at the Ministry of Education, said the ministry welcomed the collaboration between the NBC, ADB, Good Return and World Education Cambodia to include financial literacy in the national school curriculum.
“Financial literacy will help young people manage their finances. Young people are now more likely to encounter situations where they need to set their spending priorities, be aware of new types of fraud, know that some items that they want to buy will incur ongoing costs,” he said. “We need them to be financially savvy at a young age and for that reason we will be starting to teach financial literacy at primary school-level,” he added.
Hiroyuki Aoki, the financial sector specialist at ADB’s Southeast Asia department, said that financial education could be viewed as a capacity building process over an individual’s lifetime, which results in improved financial literacy and well-being.
“There are significant potential gains to be realised by including financial literacy in the national school curriculum and we will focus on the inclusive financing of the Cambodian School Curriculum Project to promote the subject in schools nationwide,” said Aoki.